SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — An acoustic tracking tag has been attached to a great white shark in Rhode Island waters for the first time, shark researchers announced Monday.
The tag was placed on a 7-foot, juvenile female inside the Point Judith Harbor of Refuge on Saturday, the South Kingstown-based Atlantic Shark Institute posted on its Facebook page.
“This is a watershed moment for the Atlantic Shark Institute, this critical research and our efforts to learn more and more about this iconic species,” Executive Director Jon Dodd said in a statement. “We’ve known for quite some time that white sharks visit our waters more often than has been previously documented, and this is simply another step in filling in those missing pieces.”
Whenever the shark passes within 500 to 800 yards of an acoustic receiver, the time and location are recorded. The tag should last 10 years.
Most tagged great whites are adults or sub-adults, so tagging a juvenile will provide critical information to researchers.
“These young-of-the-year and juvenile white sharks aren’t easy to find, tag and release so every one of them is really important if we are to understand how size, age and sex plays a role in what they do and where they go,” Dodd said.